The Power of a Good Story

It was waiting for me on my desk when I came into work on an ordinary morning this winter: a poem aboutBoy carrying book, Pouch and picture of a little boy and his Raising Readers’ book.

I stopped to read it before starting in on the endless emails and piles of projects that make up a day in the life of a Program Director.

After all, who doesn’t love a good story?

After reading the first line, I instantly knew that this wasn’t any ordinary story.

Once upon a time, there was a boy… He came into foster care on a snowy night in Maine with just the clothes on his back. No toys, no books, no toothbrush…nothing.

Then the day came when he moved home to his parents’ new apartment. He packed up all of his new clothes, wore his sneakers and traveled to his new home with a heart full of love. He also took his teddy bear and some trucks in his new little kid rolling backpack.

But the one item he insisted on carrying home was his Raising Readers book. He’s slept with that book for months – literally slept with it in his bed at his foster home. It was his most treasured possession. He’d received it from his pediatrician at his 3 year well child visit.

Thanks, Raising Readers!

Often, those of us who work in program administration don’t get to hear about or see the effects of our work on those that our programs serve.   It can be easy to forget that our work has the potential to greatly impact a child’s life for the better.  That behind the numbers of children who receive Raising Readers’ books are real lives, real families, real challenges and joys. Stories like this change that.

At the 2015 Raising Readers Book Selection Committee meeting in November, the group dedicated the time they spent reading nearly a hundred books (to help choose the 12 that would make up the next year’s book suite) to this little boy.

Now hanging on the wall in my office, this story serves as a reminder of how important it is to make the joy of reading accessible to all Maine children regardless of where they live, their socioeconomic background, or their race. Giving children the tools to begin their reading journey can be very powerful.

Sometimes all it takes is a good book to call your very own…to set you on a path of lifelong reading, learning and adventure!

Happy Reading with your families…

Cassie

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